No matter what your company or organization does or sells, your customers are online. They are interacting on social channels with their friends, colleagues and other brands in search of information, recommendations and entertainment.
If your brand is not around to deliver content, engage with users and answer questions, you can bet that a competitor will be instead. Here are some examples of good and bad social media habits that can make or break your online presence.
Focus your messaging
Be careful of wearing too many hats. Diversity of content is important, but it becomes easy to over reach and draw attention away from your brand or what you stand for. Content should be both fresh and applicable to your overall brand messaging.
Use quality images, videos and graphics
It is important to incorporate visuals into your social posts, but as Social Media Explorer notes, your images can’t be off topic or poorly made. Any visuals with a post should be high quality and relevant to what you’re saying. Using grainy photos that only vaguely relate to your posts will mostly just confuse or frustrate your audience.
Adweek notes that it’s important to respond to comments quickly and directly. Since social media is basically just an ongoing conversation between you and your existing or potential customers, not answering questions or concerns is essentially telling them “I don’t really care about you.”
Try not to slack off. Social media is easy to start, but it’s equally difficult to maintain. If you post regularly for a few weeks then go dormant for a month, people will question the reliability of your page – and, by extension, your business.
Perhaps the best way to avoid inconsistency is by pre-scheduling posts with social media management tools. These tools allow you to write posts in bulk, then set those posts to go live during peak engagement times so your social media managers can use their time more efficiently. Influencer Marketing Hub offers a list of some of the best available tools in a recent article.
Utilize paid social media
Organic social posts simply don’t have the reach they once did. Beginning as early as 2012, social platforms started introducing algorithms that prioritize posts from family and friends over branded content, meaning that only a fraction of your potential audience will see your organic posts. As one article on Business 2 Community succinctly puts it – organic social media is dead. Using paid options such as boosting posts or opting for a paid ad expands that reach and allows you to gain exposure to a broader audience on social networks.
Although it may be tempting to ignore someone making negative or disparaging comments, this can do more harm than good. Forbes notes that it’s important to helpfully respond to every complaint – whether it is legitimate or not – because a public audience will see it. This means you have an opportunity to establish yourself as the “adult in the room” for any readers who may view your interaction.
Remove content or ban trolls
Sometimes, negative comments will have no constructive point and aim to simply cause harm. While removing this kind of content or blocking this type of user seems like viable option, it often creates more problems. Except in extreme cases of verbal abuse, slurs or threats, it’s best to just kill trolls with kindness by responding to them constructively and positively.
Just as it is easy to forget to post – especially if you have neglected pre-scheduling – it is equally possible to come up with a bunch of good content at once and then want to post it all right away. This should be avoided for a few reasons, but foremost among them is that this quick-posting strategy can end up appearing to be a barrage of annoying, spammy content. On social media, quality really does beat quantity, so don’t rush to push a bunch of content quickly – save some of your best ideas and spread them out over time.
Sell, sell, sell
Your business sells something. And while social media is a useful tool to help you sell more of whatever that is, selling alone is not the purpose of social platforms. Social media is a channel for you to have direct engagement with customers and provides your business with an opportunity to communicate its values and personality. Also, it’s supposed to be fun, so avoid constant product pushing and develop more of your brand’s personality and drive conversations with customers through the content of your posts.
Hashtags are useful in brand establishment, customer engagement and even audience expansion. However, overusing them can be an obnoxious habit. When adding hashtags to a post, you should stick to branded terms or terms related to your products, services or industry. Get some more tips on how to properly use hashtags from Hootsuite.
Post whenever you think of it
It’s natural to want to share a good post the second you think of it, but unless your timing is just lucky, this will definitely hurt your interactions. Each platform has different days and times that will yield the highest amount of views and engagements, and even your own brand and audience can drive different results that are specific to your business presence on social media. Do your research and plan your posting schedule accordingly.
There are a lot of factors to balance when deciding what to post and when. And at JFG, this is what we do every day – working with our clients individually to create customized strategies to help them get the most from social media. We offer organic and paid posting, monitoring and social media management for users on all major platforms.
If you need help managing your social media presence, we would love to work with you. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn to learn more, or call us today at 716.433.7688 to discuss your needs and goals.
Bringing with him more than a decade of experience in traditional and online news media, digital marketing and content production experience, Ryan Yaeger is the copywriter and digital content strategist at J. Fitzgerald Group. When not busy wordsmithing at his proverbial word anvil or working on client SEO, you can find him testing new board games or cheering for the Bills or Sabres.